(National) Jan. 18, 2004 - The hula hoop is back, supersized and ready to roll on the list of aerobic fitness trends. Loren Bidner is an instructor of a hoop class and says it is an irresistible way to trim down and tone up, "It's just contagious. People see people moving in them, and they want to get into them themselves."
Bidner charges $15 for an hour long class in New York City, "You're building your stamina, you're toning your abs, and you're raising your heart rate, and you're pumping the blood."
In 1958 a small plastic hoop hit the scene as a children's toy, and 25 million sold in four months. In 1994 it was immortalized as Tim Robbins "invention" in the movie "The Hudsucker Proxy."
Bidner says today it's a dose of nostalgia for adults looking for a non-traditional workout, "You're transported back to your childhood. I think that's why when you picked it up you had a smile right then and there. It's just pure and simple fun."
Bidner custom crafts each $30, adult-sized hoop.
Classes are spinning out across the country, but if you can't make it, there's an exercise video featuring weighted hoops. They say you can burn up to 660 calories an hour here. There are magazine articles and even a web site tracking the trend.
Bidner says the health benefits are real, "You're burning the calories, you're working out."